This Week in Pac-10 Football (11/4/01)

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Nov. 4, 2001

LAST WEEK:
Arizona 38, California 24
Oregon 42, Arizona State 24
USC 16, Oregon State 13 (OT)
Washington 42, Stanford 28
Washington State 20, UCLA 14

THE RACE:
Three teams--Oregon, Washington State and Washington--are knotted atop the Pac-10 standings. Oregon holds the tie-breaking advantages and has a clear path to the Pac-10 Champion's berth in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl if it can win its final two games (at UCLA, Oregon State at Eugene).

PAC-10 IN THE POLLS:
Five Pac-10 teams are ranked in the polls, all in the top 20. The Pac-10 is the only conference with five teams ranked in the top 20. Following are the rankings of Pac-10 teams in the AP (media) and ESPN/USA Today (coaches) polls:

Team AP ESPN
Oregon (8-1) 7 7
Washington (7-1) 8 8
Washington State (8-1) 11 12
Stanford (5-2) 16 19
UCLA (6-2) 17 15

SERIES NOTES FOR THE GAMES OF NOV. 10:

USC (4-5) at CALIFORNIA (0-8) - 12:30 PST - The Series: USC and California have met 88 times dating to 1915 and uninterrupted since 1926. The Trojans lead the series 54-29-5, but the Golden Bears have won the last three. . . . Last Year: California and USC met at Los Angeles with the Golden Bears taking a 28-16 win. It marks the last time Cal recorded a win. The Trojans won the statistical battle, but the Bears used some sturdy second-half defense and big plays by CB Jemeel Powell to secure the victory. Cal registered just 11 first downs and 213 yards total offense (82 rushing, 131 passing), but managed to eke out enough points to give the defense a chance to nail down the win. Golden Bear QB Kyle Boller threw just 12 passes, but two of them went for scores. California's defense shut out USC in the second half, allowing only 55 yards and six first downs. Powell scored the final TD of the game on an 83-yard punt return and then picked off a pass late in the game to seal the win. TB Sultan McCullough was a bright spot for Troy with 122 yards and a score on 15 carries (8.1).

OREGON (8-1) at UCLA (6-2) - 12:30 PST - ABC regional telecast - The Series: UCLA and Oregon have met 55 times dating to 1928 with the Bruins leading the series 37-18. Oregon won last year to snap a four-game UCLA winning streak. In meetings at the Rose Bowl, UCLA leads 5-3 and has won the last two. . . . Last Year: Oregon and UCLA opened Conference play at Eugene with the Ducks using defense and a strong ground game to down the No. 6-ranked Bruins 29-10. Oregon rushed for 208 yards with TB Maurice Morris the workhorse with 37 carries for 139 yards and two fourth-quarter touchdowns to put the game away. The Duck defense limited the Bruins to 11 first downs and just 197 yards total offense, including minus-9 on the ground. . . . Coaching note: UCLA coach Bob Toledo spent six seasons (1983-88) as an assistant at Oregon and has gone 4-1 against the Ducks since taking over the Bruin helm. Current Oregon head coach Mike Bellotti succeeded Toledo as UO offensive coordinator in 1989.

WASHINGTON (7-1) at OREGON STATE (3-5) - 12:30 PST - FOX Sports Net national cablecast - The Series: Washington and Oregon State have met 85 times dating to 1897 with the Huskies leading the series 55-26-4. It has been all UW in recent years with the Dawgs having won 13 straight and 23 of the last 24. Washington also has won 12 in a row at Corvallis. OSU's last win in the series came at Seattle in 1985 (21-20) and the Beavers' last home win came in 1974 (23-9). . . . Last Year: Washington and Oregon State, both ranked in the Top 25, met at chilly Husky Stadium with UW prevailing 33-30 in what would prove to be a game with major Rose Bowl implications as neither team lost another game. It was the only loss of the season for the Beavers, who would go on to finish 11-1 and earn a berth in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. Washington would go on the the Rose Bowl and has gone 14-1 since getting that win. The game was as close as the final score indicates. In a turnover-free game, both offenses were clicking as Washington had 504 yards total offense and Oregon State responded with 474. The Husky ground game went for 281 yards with TB Rich Alexis rushing for 107 yards and two TDs and TB Paul Arnold adding 102 yards. OSU TB Ken Simonton answered with 104 yards rushing and Beaver QB Jonathan Smith was hot in throwing for 314 yards and three TDs, including an 80-yard strike that drew OSU within three points in the fourth quarter. The Beavs had a shot to tie it at the end, but a 46-yard Ryan Cesca field goal attempt with 14 seconds left went wide.

WASHINGTON STATE (8-1) at ARIZONA STATE (4-4) - 4:30 MST/3:30 PST - FOX syndication (18 stations in six western states, check local listings) - Series Standing: Arizona State and Washington State have met 27 times with the Sun Devils leading the series 16-9-2. The Sun Devils hold a 10-4-2advantage in games played at Tempe, including the last two. It has been a streaky series as ASU has won the last four, which followed a WSU four-game win streak, which followed an ASU four-game streak. The Cougars last win in the series came at Tempe in 1994 (28-21). . . . Last Year: Arizona State and Washington State each played in three overtime games last year, so it should come as no surprise that such was the case when the teams met at Pullman. Knotted at 20-20 in regulation, the issue was settled when PK Mike Barth booted a 41-yard field goal to allow Arizona State to escape with a 23-20 OT victory. WSU QB Jason Gesser had a big day through the air with 321 yards, but the Cougar cause was hurt by five turnovers.

STANFORD (5-2) at ARIZONA (4-5) - 5:00 MST/4:00 PST - ABC regional telecast - Series Standing: Arizona and Stanford have met 18 times with the Wildcats leading the series 12-6. The Cats lead 6-2 in games played at Arizona Stadium. Arizona has won seven of the last eight overall and three of the last four at Tucson. However, the lone Stanford win in that span came in its last visit to Tucson in 1999 (50-22). . . . Last Year: Arizona and Stanford met early in the season at Palo Alto and the Wildcats moved out to a 20-0 halftime lead and used a stifling defense to cruise in for a 27-3 win. Cardinal starting QB Randy Fasani was out with a knee injury suffered the previous game, giving freshman QB Chris Lewis his first career start. The UA defense made it a difficult one, limiting Stanford to 68 yards rushing, 245 yards total offense, forcing six turnovers and scoring a TD on a fumble recovery. Freshman TB Clarence Farmer paced the Wildcat offense with 116 yards and one score on 18 carries.

PAC-10 NOTES:

OUT OF OUR LEAGUE:
The Pac-10 has posted a stellar 20-5 (.800) mark vs. non-conference foes, 19-5 (.792) vs. Division I-A opponents. Included is an excellent 4-1 mark against teams rated in the Top 25.

HOME/ROAD RECORDS:
In 29 Conference games to date this year, the home team holds a 17-12 advantage.

CURRENT STREAKS:
Longest overall winning streak - 3 games - Washington
Longest Conference-game winning streak - 3 games - Washington
Longest home winning streak - 13 games - Washington
Longest road winning streak - 4 games - Oregon and Washington State

CONFERENCE: 13 of 29 Pac-10 games have been decided by seven or fewer points with two more decided by 10 or fewer. . . . UCLA MLB Robert Thomas and Washington NT Larry Tripplett have been named among the 12 semifinalists for the Rotary Lombardi Award

ARIZONA: Win at Cal snapped a 10-game Conference losing streak for the Wildcats. . . . UA defense has allowed just 179 yards rushing the last two weeks. . . . WR Bobby Wade is hot with three TD catches at Cal last week and 20 receptions for 276 yards over last three games. . . . QB Jason Johnson tossed four TD passes with no interceptions, plus piled up 315 yards through the air at Cal. It marked Johnson's second consecutive 300-yard passing day after going for 311 vs. USC.

ARIZONA STATE: Sun Devils get third straight Top 20 opponent with Washington State this week following Washington and Oregon. Those three teams are a combined 23-3. . . . TB Delvon Flowers rushed for three TDs in a game for the first time in his career at Oregon last week. He has rushed for six TDs in the last three games. As a team, ASU has rushed for 16 TDs in last five games. . . . WR Shaun McDonald had his third straight 100-yard receiving game at Eugene. McDonald is second in the Pac-10 in receiving yards at 99.9 yards per game. He leads Pac-10 receivers in TD receptions (9) and average per reception (22.2 yards). . . . QB Jeff Krohn leads the Pac-10 (seventh nationally) in passing efficiency (161.1).

CALIFORNIA: Freshman TB Terrell Williams has posted back-to-back 100-yard rushing games the last two weeks. Bears need his production as starting TB Joe Igber has been lost for the year with a broken clavicle. . . . In just his second game at wide receiver after switching from cornerback, LaShaun Ward had four receptions for 135 yards (33.8-yard average) and two TDs against Arizona last week. . . . QB Kyle Boller, who had missed the previous two games with a back injury, did not start vs. Arizona, but did play and tossed the two TD passes to Ward.

OREGON: QB Joey Harrington has been named one of five finalists for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award presented annually to the nation's top senior quarterback. Harrington has run his record to a stellar 22-3 record as a starter after he tied his own school record in throwing six TD passes in Ducks' 42-24 win over Arizona State last week. With 54 career touchdown passes, Harrington is tied for ninth on the Pac-10 career list. . . . The six TD passes is just one shy of the Pac-10 single-game record for a regulation game (7 by Mike Pagel, ASU vs. Stanford, 1981). . . . Four of Harrington's TD passes went to WR Keenan Howry. The four TD receptions ties the Pac-10 single-game record held by several players. . . . Ducks have won four straight road games heading into UCLA this week. . . . Oregon is 16-3 in the month of November under coach Mike Bellotti.

OREGON STATE: Beavers have won 14 of their last 16 home games. . . . WR James Newson has emerged as OSU top receiving threat. He has 22 receptions for 372 yards over the last three weeks. . . . OLB Nick Barnett has been credited with 29 tackles, 19 solo, over the last two weeks. . . . TB Ken Simonton would need to average 124 yards per game over Beavs' last three contests to become the first player in Pac-10 history to rush for 1,000 yards in four seasons. . . . QB Jonathan Smith has moved into fifth place on the Pac-10 career passing list with 8,830 yards. Stanford's John Elway is next in line. Smith also has gone into seventh place on the Conference's career total offense chart with 8,383 yards. Smith has started 35 consecutive games for the Beavers.

STANFORD: RB Brian Allen had an 80-yard TD run at Washington last week, the longest run of the season for the Cardinal. . . . Stanford only team in the Pac-10 holding opponents under 100 yards rushing per game (98.6). . . . Cardinal is in the top 10 nationally in both punt returns (16.8) and kickoff returns (25.5). Luke Powell is third in the nation in punt returns with a 17.3 average. . . . Stanford remains by far the least penalized team in the league. Card is hit with 5.3 penalties for 39 yards on average per game. . . . Stanford also leads Pac-10 in time of possession, averaging 33:48 minutes per game.

UCLA: Bruins finally allowed a touchdown in the third quarter at WSU, although it was not against the defense as the Cougars returned a fumble recovery for a score. Bruins are outscoring opponents 93-10 in that third quarter. . . . Bruins face their seventh opponent ranked in the Top 25 this year with No. 7 Oregon this week. UCLA has won 14 of its last 20 games against ranked opponents, including 4-2 this season. . . . In 32 quarters this season, UCLA has allowed an opponent to score more than once on just one occasion (Stanford). . . . Bruins defense leads Pac-10 in scoring defense (16.9) and total defense (310.6). Bruins also lead in pass efficiency defense. . . . Banged up QB Cory Paus was intercepted three times at WSU last week after having suffered just one pick the entire season entering the game. . . . TB DeShaun Foster continue to lead the Pac-10 and is third nationally in rushing at 138.6 yards per game.

USC: Trojans have won three straight Conference games heading into Cal this week. . . . SC extended its home winning streak against Oregon State to 18 in a row with OT victory last week. . . . Trojans snapped a streak of seven straight games where the opponent had scored first by beating Oregon State to the scoreboard last week. . . . SS Troy Polamalu blocked his second punt of the season in OSU game. Teammate Steve Stevenson scored on the block. . . . PK David Davis has made eight field goals in a row and 11-13 on the the season. . . . Opponents are 0-for-9 on 4th-down conversion attempts against the Trojans this year. . . . QB Carson Palmer's 59.4% completion percentage is best among Pac-10 starting QBs.

WASHINGTON: Huskies sport the longest current home winning streak among Pac-10 teams with 13 straight victories at Husky Stadium. . . . Win against Stanford last week was 11th straight over Cardinal at Husky Stadium. . . . Seemingly never comfortable with a lead, UW let Stanford cut a 28-13 deficit to a 28-28 tie, before TB Willie Hurst rushed for two TDs in the final four minutes. Hurst had three rushing TDs on the day. . . . Washington is a remarkable 9-for-10 on 4th-down conversion attempts this year.

WASHINGTON STATE: Cougars end regular season with two on the road (Arizona State and Washington). . . . FS Lamont Thompson picked off a school-record four passes in WSU's win vs. UCLA last week. Included were two in the last three minutes to preserve the 20-14 victory. The four picks ties the Pac-10 single-game record held by several players. The most recent to do it was Chuck Cecil of Arizona (vs. Stanford) in 1987. Thompson also raised his career interception total to 21, which ties Cecil's Pac-10 career interception record. . . . WSU continues to lead the Pac-10 in scoring offense (38.3) and passing offense (310.4), both national top 10 figures. . . . Cougs also lead league and are tied for third nationally in turnover margin at +13. That figure is helped greatly by WSU's league-leading 20 interceptions made. . . . QB Jason Gesser is the Pac-10 total offense leader.

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